ANDREW PIERCE: The Tory ex-whip and a killer parting shot
Former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell has been exposed as one of the biggest earners in Parliament, making £180,000 on top of his £82,000 MP’s salary from six consultancies with investment banks and accountancy firms.
But Mitchell, who started in the Whips’ Office when John Major was prime minister, reveals his greatest Commons heroes were cut from rather different cloth.
In Beyond A Fringe: Tales From A Reformed Establishment Lackey, he writes how he was in awe of two senior whips who had been awarded the Military Cross for heroism in World War II.
Colonel Bob Boscawen, un comandante di carro armato, was severely wounded and left disfigured, with burns to his face and body, when an enemy shell pierced his tank in April 1945, the last full month of the war in Europe.
Former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell has been exposed as one of the biggest earners in Parliament ANDREW PIERCE writes
He spent three years in and out of hospital recovering.
Colonel Carol Mather was captured by the Italians in Libya in 1942 and transferred to Italy by submarine, but escaped nine months later by walking 600 miles through the Apennine mountains to Allied lines.
Tre anni dopo, Mather was hit by four bullets when the Auster observation plane in which he was travelling was shot down over the Netherlands. He was badly injured and lost a kidney.
Mitchell records an interesting exchange after a visit to the Whips’ Office by then home secretary Douglas Hurd, who was wearing a Loden coat, a style of attire common in pre-war Germany.
Lui dice: ‘When Hurd left, one of the colonels turned to the other and observed: “Huh. Last time I saw a man wearing a coat like that, I shot him”.’
Pam makes a stanza to save the world
Celebrity versifier Pam Ayres has penned a ditty in support of the climate change battle
Celebrity versifier Pam Ayres has penned a ditty in support of the battle against climate change.
I bought a bamboo toothbrush, As I’d like to save the planet,
I bought it for each kittiwake And albatross, and gannet,
To try to send a message out to everyone like me
Who always bought the plastic ones, Which end up in the sea.
With poems like these, the green lobby you’re certain to please, Pam!
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries’s call for the BBC to end its anti-Government comedy bias has fallen on deaf ears. Next week’s guests on Have I Got News For You are Left-leaning comic Phil Wang and Baroness Warsi, the former Tory Cabinet minister. ‘Sayeeda dislikes the Government so much, Wang will actually be providing the balance,’ says an insider.
Impressionist Rory Bremner says: ‘There have been so many U-turns under Boris Johnson’s leadership that the Met Office should give them names.’ How about ‘Hurricane Owen’ for the latest?
An interesting footnote from backbencher John Howell, first elected MP for Henley-on-Thames in a 2008 by-election after Boris Johnson resigned to be Mayor of London.
He told primary school pupils: ‘I was told I had big shoes to fill after Boris. I talked to him after that and he told me, “My shoe size is 9.5”, and I responded, “I take size 10”, and we had a good laugh about it.’
With Boris dancing faster than a Riverdance pro trying to sidestep sleaze claims, Howell probably would not want to be in the PM’s shoes right now.
Khan’s in fast lane to hypocrisy
London Mayor Sadiq Khan recently expanded the ultra-low emission zone from Central London farther north and south
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has shown his flair for double standards once again.
Khan, giusto, who spoke at Cop26, burnished his environmental credentials last month by expanding the ultra-low emission zone from Central London farther north and south.
The Labour Mayor estimates 100,000 macchine, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries will trigger the daily £12.50 levy in the enlarged zone — plus the £15 congestion charge.
This is the same Sadiq Khan who last week endorsed the idea of a Formula One Grand Prix in London’s East End, where the cars would belch out fumes in an area he has already warned is one of the most polluted in the capital.